OK SO I THINK I WANT TO BE A PA. WHAT'S NEXT?
Becoming a physician assistant requires knowing where the PA schools are and figuring out what the requirements are to apply for each program. Luckily we have an excel spreadsheet with a list of most of the colleges and the requirements each college has in order to apply. We would be happy to email you this information if interested. Tip: Most colleges will place on their website what the average GPA and GRE scores for each class. We would recommend that you have a GPA and GRE scores a few points above average to ensure that you have a good chance to get accepted. Remember "twice as hard, half as far"
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
We would recommend finding a physician assistant that wouldn't mind taking the time out to talk with you about the profession. We would also research PA schools in your area and seeing if any of the faculty at the school would be willing to sit down and talk with you about applying and requirements. We would also recommend that you look and see what kind of healthcare experience you will need in order to apply for PA school since most PA schools require healthcare experience in order to apply for their program.
Try to have an idea of which PA programs you would like to apply for and check and see what their requirements are. Make sure you have checked to see what college classes are required and also what healthcare experience you need to have. Also consider finding a PA or MD to shadow to gain some experience as to how clinicians practice medicine. You can use the people you shadow as references when it is time to fill out the application. Please know some colleges do not consider shadowing healthcare experience.
One of the biggest barriers that students encounter is gaining healthcare experience. Some colleges accept shadowing healthcare professionals, others require that you actually are employed in a healthcare discipline like emergency medical technician (EMT) or certified nursing assistant (CNA) to obtain clinical hours. In order to get into most PA schools, you will need to have a certain number of hours of healthcare experience before you apply. The amount of hours you need will depend on the PA school you apply to. Tip: The founder worked as a CNA as an undergrad to get his healthcare experience. It's a 6-8 week course you can take during the summer and you can earn money and gain experience at the same time!